If you are hoping to start the academic year off strong, this post is for you!
In a few short weeks, my youngest kiddo will start his senior year of high school. This transition is bittersweet, to say the least. He will be starting at a new school for his senior year, which is a big change so late in the game (made for all the right reasons, if you’re wondering!). To make sure the transition is smooth, my organization game is at peak performance!
Here are my top tips for making sure the transition back to school is as smooth as possible:
- Take inventory. Don’t waste time or money buying things you already have. With kids, it’s essential to do a thorough inventory of their clothing and school supplies before you shop. Put together complete outfits and take note of items that need to be replenished. Do a “head-to-toe” check and make sure they have enough hair accessories, shirts/tops, pants/skirts/shorts, underwear, socks, and appropriate shoes. Also take inventory of school supplies left over from the previous school year. Always “shop at home” first.
- Ask – how much is enough? Personally, I prefer to have 5-7 complete outfits per child and do laundry twice a week. I get overwhelmed when there is too much of anything, so I like to keep it simple. Folding clothes is very “zen” for me, so it works well. But some people don’t enjoy doing laundry, and prefer to have more outfits and do laundry less frequently. Find the “just right” amount for you.
- Establish a family calendar. Preferably one that can be shared with everyone, like a Google Calendar. Add all academic activities/dates onto the calendar for the entire academic year so that things like days off don’t sneak up on you. I’m a huge fan of color-coding the calendar. In our family, each member is assigned a specific color and family/group activities are in green. This helps everyone get on the same page and have a clear expectation of what the week ahead looks like.
- Visualize your mornings. Take a few minutes to think about the feeling you’d like to have as you start your day. Visualize waking up calmly, getting ready for your day with intention, and modeling that for your children.
- Plan ahead. If you want your mornings to run smoothly, having a structured routine is the solution. Wake up at the same time every day. Follow a routine that encompasses everything you need to accomplish before leaving your home. Write it down and think through every detail, including how much time you need for each task. Take the next few weeks (before school starts!!) to practice this routine.
- Have a family meeting. Discuss hopes, dreams, and goals for the academic year. Talk about how you can support each other in meaningful ways. Make this a team effort. This year we plan to have a family meeting every Sunday, simply to review the week ahead.
- Recalibrate. Even the best plans need to be adjusted from time to time. Too much rigidity isn’t necessary, and can lead to conflict. Almost every family has one or two members that aren’t morning people, or struggle to stay organized. Honor each person as they are and plan accordingly. Find ways to set each other up for success.
Wishing everyone a calm start to the 2022-23 school year!